Metro accessibility and space-time flexibility of shopping travel: A propensity score matching analysis

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, place - urban, mode - subway/metro, ridership - perceptions, land use - transit oriented development, policy - sustainable, planning - methods


Space-time flexibility, Transport accessibility, Metro services, Shopping travel, Transit-oriented development, Sustainable city design, Chengdu (China)


Space-time flexibility is defined as the extent to which individuals can participate in activities at different locations and different times. High space-time flexibility of travel enables people more freedom to choose when and where to make trips and assists in achieving both environmental and social sustainability. Applying a quasi-experimental approach – propensity score matching – to data obtained from 624 interviews in Chengdu (China), this paper aims to examine the effects of metro accessibility on space-time flexibility of shopping travel for non-daily goods. The results show that people residing around metro stations (i.e., high calculated accessibility) have a higher level of space-time flexibility of shopping travel than those living elsewhere. Meanwhile, people who perceive easy access to metro services (i.e., high perceived accessibility) are also likely to have a higher level of space-time flexibility. The findings highlight the importance of metro accessibility from the perspective of time geography. In practice, improving calculated and perceived accessibility to metro services may be an effective urban planning strategy to increase residents’ space-time flexibility of shopping travel and inform policy recommendations for the design of sustainable cities.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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